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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default It's only 122 miles

    Even if taking the RV means driving CA-1 more slowly than you would in a car, it makes far more sense to me to take the RV earlier and use it to go to Monterey, then going to Sonora from there. Frankly, the back-tracking to SF just to return the car and switch to Rv seems like a great waste of time.

    RVs drive CA-1 all the time. Just keep these things in mind and you'll be fine. Drive at a slow, easy pace so that the RV navigates the curves easily. Pull over anytime you have more than 5 cars behind you to allow them to pass you. Know that the trip is going to take a bit longer but you're going to see amazing views so just relax and enjoy it.

    Anyway, that's what I'd do. I think with the limited vacation days you have for your trip, it's the best use of your time.

  2. Default A bit scared

    Thanks for the advice and encouragement Judy. I'm still a bit wary of Hwy 1, especially after reading comments by RV drivers. It will also be my first day driving an RV ever, which is why I was thinking that a narrow winding road with traffic is probably not the best way to get started. On the other hand, sometimes it's best to jump straight in.

    Would like to hear from experienced RV'ers what they feel about a complete novice attempting this ride on their first day.

    But I'll go with your advice and hire the vehicle in San Francisco rather than coming back to pick it up.


  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Just jumping in?

    I don't know...I guess I could be steering you wrong. However, you are going to have other driving challenges in the RV anyway so you might as well get one of the most challenging parts of the drive under your belt right off the bat so the rest of the trip will seem like a breeze. (A lesson in how to pack as many cliches as possible into one sentence, LOL)

    I suggest that you take a fair amount of time before you leave the rental place making sure you understand all the functions, pedals, etc. in the RV. Pay special attention that the mirrors are adjusted properly and that you know how to use them properly so you understand how far/close things are in them. These "shake-down" tips should be helpful.

    You also might enjoy some of the other RVing articles by Alice & Jamie. There are tips for driving in cities, how to find campsites, and more. It's worth a look.

    We used to have a truck/camper combo and then a truck/trailer. We started out just like you are...just got it and went. However, I have to admit that we weren't on as busy of a road although the roads were probably almost as narrow and twisty. It can be a bit nerve-wracking so you need to be in a mindset that you will not let anyone else make you nervous or make you feel like you're rushing. Go at a pace that's comfortable to you. At first, it's better to go slower and then, if you think the RV can handle it, maybe speed things up a bit. But wait until you're comfortable before doing it.

    I suggest that you also discuss the issue with the folks at the RV rental place to see if they can give you any hints and tips. I'm sure you're not the first inexperienced RV driver who intends to take their RV up or down the coast.

    I have a strong aversion to backtracking and re-driving the same road I just drove on so that is one of the things factoring into my suggestion as well. This may not apply to you?

    So, please, factor in all of these things and make the decision that you feel the most comfortable with.

  4. Default Thanks for the advice!

    Thanks for making up my mind Judy :-) I don't think you're steering me in the wrong direction :-) I'm not a nervous driver generally (can't afford to be coming from India), but not foolhardy either, so basically I just wanted a heads up from someone who's experienced driving this kind of vehicle. I'll go ahead and take Hwy 1 then. This way we also avoid backtracking - which I too dislike doing. Our route seems pretty much fixed now: San Frans - Monterey, Monterey- Sonora/Columbia, Sonora - Yosemite (with an early start so as to get into the Park early because no reservations are available for the campsites), Yosemite - Sequoia-Bakersfield, Bakersfield - LA.

    Any recommendations for the route from Monterey to Sonora?


  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default I hope it works out!

    Please return after your trip and let us know how things went.

    I did some searching around but didn't come up with any specific suggestions anywhere regarding the Monterey to Sonora route. The best I could do is point you to something like Google maps. Hopefully someone will pop in here with some experienced advice. I've never driven that route.

    Is there anything else we can help you with?

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